Pacific's run of bad luck against Lessa began before the game had even started when they were reduced to just nine players by injuries to Pete Hollman and Matt Holliday during the Fulmer game the day before ahead of this excursion to the EDF Energy ground in Eltham. The Pacific team had four debutants including Pravin Badhe and three hardy souls from Wimbledon CC. The day was mostly sunny apart from a couple of brief showers. Pacific were made to field first.
The Pacific fielding effort got off to a shaky start as Rees made a super start to his weekend skippering debut by kicking the ball over the boundary in the second over and dropping a catch at mid-wicket in the third. The problems of the previous day, at Fulmer, continued when Atkin shelled one at gully.
Gleadow enjoyed the downhill slope and the extremely variable bounce (balls clearing the batsman's head) to take three wickets in his first spell and Bhat gained his first Pacific wicket with a ball that shot straight along the ground from a good length.
Gibson claimed two good catches keeping wicket. With the opposition 50/4 things looks good for the Pacific team.
Badhe bowled a superbly tight debut spell and picked up a deserved wicket when Atkin hung on to a sharp catch in the gully. Atkin got the ball to move and bounce a great deal off the pitch as he toiled hard up the hill and Sheikh kept it tight and both picked up two wickets each to wrap up the Lessa innings at 115.
The Pacific reply started shakily as Bhat fell lbw for 7, Rees fell for a generous 4 (umpires did not seem to know what a bye was) and Gibson bottom edged a pull into his stumps to leave us 16/3. Atkin and Callender came together and battled hard to bring us back into the game.
Callender scored his first six for the club (a run two and four overthrows). However, Atkin's dismissal to a great catch at square leg for a good 20 sparked a collapse to 74/7.
Sheikh blitzed a quick 27 full of uppercuts through third man to give Pacific hope by reducing the target to 22 off about 10 overs before going for one too many big shots and ballooning a return catch.
Shot of the day - Atkin's cover drive all along the ground on a pitch where controlled driving was nigh on impossible
Ball of the day - Gleadow's throat ball that induced the batsmen to glove a smart catch to Gibson
Chris Atkin adds "No good today. We faltered chasing 115 and ended up being 20 short, on what was a difficult wicket to bat on."
XI to date :- Chris Atkin, Matt Callender, James Gleadow, Matt Holliday, Shayne Rees*, Pravin Badhe & Ben Gibson + 3 players from Wimbledon CC.